Friday, October 12, 2012

Vegan Diet 101: Where to Begin

A couple of weeks into my lifestyle change, I met up with a close friend who was shocked by my surge of energy and healthy glow. She was looking for a change and asked me what it was that I had been doing. I had previously refrained from revealing my new change to anyone, but I blurted out my secret: I was now plant-based!

Intrigued and eager to learn more, she seemed open to the idea of trying this out for herself. With her enthusiasm, I quickly wrote up some tips for her and accompanied her to the store for a grocery shopping overhaul. Below is what I sent her and what I like to call a "starter" list for beginners. Don't make it hard! Buy what you're used to to and be creative. Love pasta? Buy whole grain! Think you'll miss a dip? Buy hummus! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me via the buttons on the right. I'd love to hear from you and can't wait to help you out!

Plant-Based Shopping List
Red tipped lettuce
Flaxseed ground
Roma tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
Red onion
Bell pepper
Minced garlic bottle or garlic cloves
100% whole wheat tortillas
100% whole wheat pizza crusts
Nutritional yeast
Pizza sauce
Spaghetti sauce (low sodium) - Eden Organic makes the best, or try Pomi
Brown rice
Black or Brown beans
Almond milk
Steel-cut Oats & Rolled Oats
Whole wheat lasagna
And anything else in the produce section!

Have a bowl of cooked steel-cut or raw rolled oats with almond milk and top with 2 tbsp. ground flaxseed and 4 sliced strawberries or add a side bowl of fruit (canteloupe/honeydew/peaches/bananas, etc.)

Lunch Options:
Stir fry veggies with layer of avocado and red tipped lettuce & side of beans or rice on whole wheat tortillas
Chickpea salad spread on tortilla with red tipped lettuce and cherry tomatoes on whole wheat tortillas
Bowl of stir fry veggies on top of bed of lettuce or with beans/rice in bowl
Leftovers from the Dinner Options below!

Dinner Options:
Veggie stir fry with rice, barley or quinoa
Veggie Pizza
Sweet Potato Lasagna
Potato & Mushroom Soup
Healthy & Easy Lentil Soup
Tasty Carrot Soup
Kale Mac N' Cheeze

Snacks & Sides:
Hummus with fresh veggies
Bowl of fruit
Small bowl of raw oats, strawberries and almond milk
Spicy Tomatillo Guacamole Dip
Baked Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes
Healthy Vegan Spring Rolls
Spinach & Artichoke Dip

Dessert Options:
Fruit Ice Cream
Chocolate Tofu Pudding
Almond Blueberry Cobbler

Check out my collection of plant-based recipes I have pinned on Pinterest or see more recipes on my site here. This starter list is just a starting point. Anything in the produce section is completely fine and you'll discover your shopping trips are less expensive and quicker since you're avoiding most of the inside aisles and sticking to the walls.

Remember: you are not alone in this journey and I'd love to offer any support.

Looking to go vegan? Check out these related posts below!

Kelsey is a passionate vegan living in Houston, Texas, spreading the word about the benefits of eating a healthy, plant-based diet. She's also a minimalist enthusiast, a self-proclaimed financial guru of her household, and founder of The Little Red Journal.

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